Dave's Journal, Feb2017


Winter Blues and Blahs

Cabin fever ..... winter blues .... whatever you call it, I got it. Been too cold to wander around Boston or Ogunquit or wherever, plus all this medical stuff going on. I need April to come soon.

Food Report

Never heard of this stuff before, but I bought it because it looked nice, organic, healthy, etc etc. And it's pretty good, easy to cook in a pot, smells very exotic but tastes only midly exotic. (My winter life has been reduced to writing food reports .... how bad is that!)


Well, I do not only food reviews, but movies too. We watched these today.

Movie / "Found Memories" .... a really small movie from South America. Small small village of a dozen old religious people gets a traveling visitor - young girl photographer hiking around in the jungle.

Movie / "Best Years of Our Lives"(1946) .... a "best movie" of all time? ... Yep!

Harold Russell is the only person ever to win 2 Oscars for the same role - Best Supporting Actor, and another for inspiring returning veterans.
He was not an actor - actually a veteran who was disabled by explosives.

I am also going through some classic, low budget horror flix that Cousin Pete sent me back around Halloween. I tried to get some screen caps but they came out awful.

"Bride of the Gorilla" .... Raymond Burr ("Perry Mason") as a part time gorilla "married" to this hot blonde chick out in the jungle.

"She Demons" ..... I really must get a good short clip of the dancing jungle girls (all white girls ??) just before the Nazi soldiers (you read that correctly) barge into the campsite, arrest them and put the girls in cages.

Looking Forward / Looking Back

On the photo forum "off topic" room we got to discussing generations, messes and cleanups, and I recall a short exchange with Dad long long ago. I was in my teens, and just started reading the NY Times regularly. (There was never any good news on the front page.)

Dave to Dad: Your generation sure left us a mess to deal with.
Dad to Dave: You should have seen what we were handed to begin with.

There's a lot of wisdom there.

We think today's world is a mess, and it is, but it's not any worse than previous times. Today is a big mess to us because we are here and now and previous historical messes are not really a problem any more (to us).

So .... don't despair .... "these are the best of times, these are the worst of times"

This is for all my friends who live in warm places.
(the view out our bedroom window today)

The music is from Cal Tjader's "Several Shades of Jade" album, vintage 1962. One of my 6 favorite records of all time, ever. The track is "Borneo".

Sell a lens / Buy a lens ..... a "zero sum" game


"Need" is such a silly word - I "needed" another 50mm lens like I need a nail in my shoe. So, when I sold that zoom lens last week, and had this $$$ burning holes in my Paypal account, what did I buy?

A 1970's vintage Pentax Takumar 50mm/f1.4. I think this gets me to six 50mm's in the box.
But truth be told, each lens is different. They make slightly different pictures. There is no such thing as "the perfect lens" but the quest to find it goes on and on.


The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter ..... Winston Churchill

Well, I advertised my Panasonic on Ebay. None of my snobby photo forum friends were interested in a "point and shoot" camera (makes life too easy).

Dave's Panasonic LX7

Jack and Ryan (it's Jack's 9th birthday ! )


Vampira (Maila Nurmi)


Long before the comic book versions of Vampira, before Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Cassandra Peterson), and before Morticia (Carolyn Jones) of the TV series .... there was the one true Vampira. She was actually the creation of Maila Nurmi an actress (that's her in the picture).

I watched a one hour documentary on her. Vampira was actually a wildly popular local TV program in 1953 that ran for 13 or 14 episodes before parents, church people and conservative sponsors got it cancelled.

Maila was quite intelligent and articulate in these interviews, but the times were not right - she was maybe 30 years too soon.

Her role in the infamous "Plan 9 from Outer Space" required no script and was shot it in a few hours of one day. The TV program was not filmed (it was live) so there is virtually no footage except for some short clips that a studio cameraman took off a TV monitor.

Here is one if them: Vampira TV

If you want more, Vogue magazine wrote her up a few years back: Vampira .

Sir Galahad
(taken with the Takumar lens mentioned above)




Deb's thyroid biopsy went smoothly. Dr said "It looks non-cancerous (lab test needs to confirm)" and he is not recommending surgery at this point.


Happy Birthday to Me !


jpg Today, aside from being my 72nd birthday, was the day they turned on my cochlear implant.

Short version is it went very well. Great in fact. I can hear stuff I didn't know existed before. But .... all real sounds are wrapped in weird other-worldy cyborg-like metallic noises that are as loud as the real sounds. If I concentrate I can hear the real sounds, but it's not easy. But .... this is much better than I expected, and they say with training and practice, I will get better at interpreting what it is I hear.

I will try to explain more in depth when I add this experience to my "Being Deaf" page. Too much to deal with right now.

And .... they gave me a big backpack full of accessories for bluetooth connections, microphones, etc etc. It'll take me weeks to read through the user manuals.

The audiologist doctor gave me strict rules to leave the implant and my other hearing aid on every waking hour, to speed up my brain learning how to listen to all these sounds. Right now I have the basement stereo turned up loud to an Oscar Peterson CD ("Night Train").

I hear myself breath. I hear mouse and keyboard clicks. I hear my slippers scraping on the floor. I hear my chair squeak.

My voice, in addition to be wrapped in the weird noises I described above, sounds like a Cyborg from Battlestar Gallactica.

Scary sh#t.

Day #2: I added a few paragraphs titled "The Big Turn-On".

Beautiful day - sunny and it topped out at 70F. We drove to UNH to bring Elise home. Had a quick lunch at the Portsmouth Brewery, and window shopped a bit. Bought tiny tiny jars of exotic salt (???) - priced just below the market value of plutonium. This place will pay you back $2 for the empty jar !!! (The world is changing so fast.)



Hearing-wise, I did very well, but the restaurant environment was too tough to handle. I was emmersed in sounds like chirps, squeaks, whistles and chimes. Too much to sort out. Ironically, the waiter (whom I assume can hear well) didn't listen closely to what I ordered and gave me some wrong stuff. Not a big deal, but it reinforces the fact the "people who can hear don't listen".

Got the Medicare statement for what they dropped on this implant. About what a perfectly restored 1966 Jaguar XKE convertible would set you back. (The one with passenger ejection seat and front fender machine guns.)

If anyone ever bad-mouths Medicare, you tell them to see me about it.

Beautiful Spring-like Day Today

(at the botanic garden)




Added notes to : On Being Deaf

The Noises ..... The Noises are Killing Me

I am overwhelmed by the sounds. My brain is spinning. It is not easy getting used to hearing all this useless noise - the floor creaking, coffee brewing, clothes rustling, keyboards clicking, cars outside, chairs creaking .... it goes on and on.

I am amazed (and thankful) at the technology that lets me hear again, but "not all that glitters is gold".

We deafies have one big advantage over the hearies .... we can immediately click into the wonderful abyss of total quiet, while you guys have to put on big clunky expensive noise-cancelling headphones.